Picturing America Programming Grant Now Open to All U.S. Public Libraries

Lamenting the fact that your library doesn’t have a set of Picturing America posters? Here’s an excellent opportunity to not only receive the posters, but a $2,000 programming grant as well. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office have expanded the terms of the Picturing America Programming Grant so that all public libraries are considered eligible to apply. Successful applicants that have not received the Picturing America collection will receive the set of posters featuring reproductions of American artwork in addition to the cash grant. In addition, the grant deadline has been extended; applications will be accepted through April 26 at Picturing America for Public Libraries.

To qualify for the programming grant, public libraries must propose a program or program series that features high-quality humanities content and includes use of the Picturing America collection. After the grant term ends in February 2011, ALA will select a few of the strongest, most creative programs that combine the visual arts with humanities content to showcase at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Some possibilities for proposals include:

  • Reading and discussion series led by a scholar, teacher or other facilitator to connect audiences with the Picturing America collection through literature. Following this model, several Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America themes have been developed to inspire scholar-led reading and discussion of classic and contemporary literature.

  • Viewing and discussion series that present documentary or independent films followed by a discussion with a local film critic or historian. ALA offers several lists of theme-related films that compliment the collection, compiled by the ALA Video Round Table.

  • Visits by an author, poet, storyteller or artist, to share insight on American history and art, deepen connections to related literature and discuss the ways that visual art can inspire literary art.

  • One Book, One Community programs that feature a title related to a theme found in the Picturing America collection.

Visit Picturing America for Public Libraries to find more inspiration and resources to support humanities programs for public audiences of all ages that feature the Picturing America collection.

Picturing America, an initiative of NEH, has provided masterpieces of American art to more than 50,000 classrooms and libraries nationwide. Through the program, students and citizens gain a deeper appreciation of our country’s history and character through the study and understanding of its art. For more information about Picturing America, including a list of the schools and libraries selected to participate, visit NEH’s Picturing America Web site.